2017 Cotton Bowl Prediction
Can Wisconsin hand Western Michigan its first loss while also covering for bettors when the two teams square off in the Cotton Bowl at 1:00PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Badgers opened as a 6.5-point favorite when the bowl lines were first released but are now -8.5 against the Broncos today. As for the total, the number hit the board at 54 but has been bet down to 52.5 and the majority of online and Vegas sports books.
WESTERN MICHIGAN KEY TRENDS: The Broncos are a perfect 7-0 against the spread in their last seven non-conference games and are 4-0 at the betting window in their last four games against Big Ten opponents. They're also 27-11 against the number in their last 38 games overall, are 20-7 against the spread in their last 27 games coming off a win, and are 5-1 ATS in their last six games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
WISCONSIN KEY TRENDS: The Badgers are 11-3-1 against the spread in their last 15 games overall, are 4-1 against the number in their last five non-conference games and are a perfect 5-0 at the betting window in their last five games against MAC programs. They're also 6-2-1 against the spread in their last nine games versus an opponent with a winning record and have covered in five of their last six games coming off a loss.
OUR PREDICTION: Western Michigan has handled every opponent on its schedule this season and far be it for me to doubt P.J. Fleck's squad on a national stage today. But I can't see the Broncos having a ton of success against Wisconsin's outstanding defense. The Badgers held opponents to 15.5 points per game this season, ranked seventh in the nation in total yards allowed, second in the nation in rushing yards allowed, and 36th in passing yards allowed per contest. The Badgers may struggle to move the ball themselves, but eventually their size will be an issue for the Broncos in the second half and that's when I believe Wisconsin will pull away.
COTTON BOWL PREDICTION: WISCONSIN BADGERS -8.5